small blue catfishSmith Mountain Lake is one of the largest lakes in Virginia. The 20,600 acre impoundment of the Roanoke River is owned by American Electric Power Company and managed primarily for hydroelectric power generation.

Smith Mountain Lake is the larger and higher of a two-lake hydro-electric power generation project. Its sister impoundment, Leesville Lake, is located approximately 17 miles downstream.

Normally, water flows from Smith Mountain lake through generators to Leesville Lake. During periods of low electrical demand, water from Leesville Lake is pumped back to Smith Mountain Lake.

Smith Mountain Lake is one of the top locations in Virginia for water-based recreation. Popular activities on and around the lake include fishing, powerboating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, camping, hiking, and other recreation.

Smith Mountain Lake Fish Species

Smith Mountain Lake fish species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, sunfish, striped bass, musky, white perch, yellow perch, channel catfish, blue catfish, and white catfish. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) maintains a fish stocking program on the lake.

Related Information

Virginia Freshwater Fishing

Lakes and Rivers